Xorg-7.3 and BLFS-6.3?

DJ Lucas dj at linuxfromscratch.org
Sat Dec 29 16:22:05 PST 2007

Ken Moffat wrote:
> For the little that my thoughts on this are worth (inter-alia, I
> only build for radeon and nv, I'm much more concerned with issues
> on non-x86 architectures, I don't make any use of dbus, and I
> certainly don't build hal or use the gnome or kde desktops - call
> me an old fogey if you like ;)
Aite old fogey it is! ;-) But thanks for the quick reply, your comments
have already proven useful. 
> 1. BLFS almost looks as if it has set its face against xcb.  Works
> fine for me, even in 7.2.  Of course, I've dropped all binary
> packages other than realplayer on x86.
That was the decision when it was new but it is there in svn.  On my
previous 6.3 build I had used xcb and haven't had any issues.  If I
remember correctly, there was a patch to side step the problem,
unfortunately, I don't recall what the problem was exactly....oh yeah,
assert...I remember.  And, contrary to the patches header information,
the patch was accepted upstream and is present in 1.1.2.  I don't think
it's a big issue, I don't have LIBXCB_ALLOW_SLOPPY_LOCK in my
environment and no known problems.  Of course, I don't use binary
packages at all.
> 3. Possibly, some of the drivers need the new 'pci' library
> (pciaccess) - certainly, neither ati nor nv, nor any of the
> non-video drivers that I build, use it.  But, there was a comment
> from I think Keith Packard on lkml the other week which implied it
> was in use in xorg-7.3.
That was new to me. :-)  I'd have found it the hard way.  You've
probably saved me a couple of reboots for a web browser.  Thanks.  I
really should install links.
> 4. Evdev-1.2.0 is apparently required, but I don't notice the
> difference compared to the previous version (maybe I would notice if
> I knew what it did, maybe not).
It's a generic input driver.  From the manpage** "*evdev* is an Xorg
input driver for Linux's generic event devices. It therefore supports
all input devices that the kernel knows about, including most mice and
keyboards."  But I think all the fixes requiring 1.2.0 are related to
reliablility of input hotplug, hence why you don't see an issue.  I'm
also not so confident with Hal anymore (as if I ever was).  A sample
policy will have to be provided in the x-config page.
> 5. For the ati drivers, 6.7.196 is definitely good IMHO (haven't tried
> .197 in a known good environment yet).  Supposedly, 6.7 is needed
> for randr-1.2, but the latest 6.6 seemed ok to me on one machine
> when 6.7.195 was both the latest release and broken.
My cards are too old on my dev PC.  I'm gonna have to LFS my new one
soon, but sticking to strait x86 until 6.3 is released.  Maybe I can
drum up a 9600 or something cheap someplace.
> 6. I've spoken too much about pixman-0.9.6 on support ;)  Again, it
> depends on the architecture and perhaps on the video driver - my
> ppc64 with nv and ppc with radeon are happy with 0.9.5, other arches
> aren't.
> 7. Server seems good, and might be as good as we get before
> 1.5.
Has there been a discussion on the xorg mailing lists?  I didn't see it,
but I do see that 1.4.1 has been pushed back about a month and a half
and running now.  Still 6 blockers on it, IIRC 4 of which can be 'cherry
picked' from 'master'.  I hope that's correct...I'm still not comfy with
their terminology, or git for that matter.  Are those typical git
terms?  On a side note, we probably need to add git to the book at some
>  Funnily enough, I built 7.2 using the versions in blfs (plus xcb
> stuff) a couple of days ago for the LFS-6.3 system I've just
> installed.  I was somewhat surprised to see that blfs seemed to be
> recommending people to download all of the video drivers.  In the
> beginning, replicating the non-modular build had merit, but a lot of
> the parts are no longer useful to most people with semi-modern
> installations, and encouraging people to build all of the video
> drivers just highlights that.
I looked at the pages, and they could use some rewording I think.  As
with input drivers too.  Right now, we do recommend all for
brevity/simplicity.  Joe User might want to hotplug his SuperDraw 2008
(???) for LinCAD 2007 (???).  With his kernel patch, we'll identify it
as a 60 button mouse, is evdev a minimum or a standard requirement?  At
this point, I'd think standard, but you, with good reason, might
disagree.  This is where the wiki was supposed to come into play.  A few
users have added comments, but I'm as guilty as the next.  While I could
pretend and use "editor responsibility" as an excuse, I also have drive
space to kill and just lazily build the whole schebang. 
>  I don't have an opinion about whether 7.2 or 7.3 should be in 6.3,
> there are enough other old things like gnome-2.18 and kde-3.5.6 :
> for what I'm using, I don't see any "must upgrade" things in any of
> these (in itself, that is good - it's not that long since a version
> upgrade fixed noticeable bugs or made things noticeably better).
>  The pain is in identifying good versions of everything,
> particularly the video drivers, and trying to find reliable
> information on which versions are intended to be used in 7.3.
> ĸen
Well, I would tend to think that the list of packages in the X11R7.3/src
directory would be a good indicator, but that has yet to be the case.
:-)  I wish they had some actual documentation on the website as for
which to use with which release.  Best we can get, at least that I know
of, is to dig through configure and see what pkg-config is looking
for...for each of 296 packages plus their various point releases above
the ones in the release numbered directory.  Is certainly not fun after
a while, and I gave up looking at *all* the package versions.  I'll go
back through it after I have a working build.

-- DJ Lucas

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